Matthew McConaughey still ‘measuring’ run for Texas governor, talks masks, abortion, voting in NYT podcast

The actor says abortion restrictions passed in Texas are ‘juvenile’

FILE - Actor Matthew McConaughey attends A+E Network's "HISTORYTalks: Leadership and Legacy" on Feb. 29, 2020, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) (Evan Agostini, ©2020 Evan Agostini)

Matthew McConaughey says he’s still “measuring” a run for the governor of Texas.

The actor spoke about political parties, division in the U.S., and his stances on hot-button issues like face masks, abortion and voting rights on the New York Times’ “Sway” podcast hosted by Kara Swisher.

In the Thursday episode titled, “Is Texas Ready for Matthew McConaughey?” he says he’s “measuring” where he’ll be most useful in today’s society of constant conflict.

“Where can I be most useful? Is politics an embassy for me to be of the most use to myself, to my family, to the most amount of people in my life moving forward?” he said.

When Swisher asked him to specify how he “measures” that, he replied that he’s been learning about politics because he’s not interested in putting “on a bunch of Band-Aids in four years, and walk out, and they rip ‘em off when you’re gone.”

He didn’t identify as being exclusively in the Republican or Democratic party, but rather in the middle of the road.

One part of him believes he’s able to help fix the political turmoil. The other part of him doesn’t want to touch the “bag of rats” with a 10-foot pole, he said.

McConaughey added that both parties “are so extreme” that he’s worried about the nation heading toward civil war.

“I think we’ve got to redefine politics. If each party’s only about preservation of party, well, I’m almost arguing that’s undemocratic,” he said. “If you’re only there to, by hook or by crook, preserve your party, you’re leaving out 50 percent of the people.”

When pressed about specific issues, he said taking sides precedes “the discussion of something larger,” but he gave some insight on his thoughts about masks, abortions and voter rights – perhaps the biggest topics in Texas politics today.

The mask mandate was the right call, and it should be easier to vote, he said.

While he didn’t say that he supports abortion, he said he felt Texas’ six-week abortion ban was “juvenile” and unfair to victims of rape or incest.

“I’m not going to come out and tell you right now on this show, here’s where I stand on abortion,” he said. “We’ve been trying to figure out that, and how to play God with that situation, since the beginning. But this latest move by Texas? It’s a little bit of— feels like a back-to-front sort of Roe v. Wade loophole that they’re trying to get into.”

“And also, six weeks. Six weeks? If you’re saying that your discussion of abortion is even on the table to consider, six weeks does not really make that a honest consideration.”

The state law that prohibited abortions once cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks, was in effect for more than a month until this week.

On Wednesday, District Judge Robert Pitman temporarily blocked it in a 113-page ruling that found the law violates a woman’s right to an abortion.

Listen to the full interview with McConaughy here.

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Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.